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42.5 percent support China services pact in gov't-backed survey

2014/05/01 22:20:39

The signing ceremony of the service trade pact in Nanjing, China, June 21, 2013.

Taipei, May 1 (CNA) A government-backed survey released Thursday showed that 42.5 percent of respondents support the trade-in-services agreement with China, compared with 40.1 percent who oppose the pact signed by Taiwanese and Chinese negotiators last June.

The survey, conducted by National Chengchi University and commissioned by the Cabinet-level Mainland Affairs Council, found that 70.4 percent of respondents want the Legislature to begin immediate deliberation and voting on the pact on an article-by-article basis, while 15.8 percent were against the idea.

A total of 73.2 percent of those polled agreed that it would improve the transparency of negotiations and public participation if the government solicited public opinion during each step of the negotiation process.

Meanwhile, 73.9 percent also said they felt that it will improve legislative scrutiny over cross-strait agreements if government officials maintain a certain level of communication with lawmakers before any agreement with China is signed.

As for security concerns, 72.6 percent said it would be beneficial to national security if all cross-strait agreements undergo review by the Executive Yuan and evaluation by the National Security Council.

The telephone survey was conducted by National Chengchi University's Election Study Center April 9-13 on people aged 20 and over. It gathered 1,104 valid samples for a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of plus-or-minus 2.95 percent, according to the Mainland Affairs Council.

The services trade agreement, which has been stalled in the Legislature for review for months, triggered a 24-day occupation of the Legislature that ended only when protesters agreed to stand down on April 10.

Opponents of the pact worry that it will hurt Taiwan's interests and open the door for greater Chinese influence over Taiwan.

The government has argued that the pact, a follow-up agreement under the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, is good for Taiwan's economic development and is needed for Taiwan to join the trend of the economic integration in the region.

(By Scarlet Chai and Elaine Hou)